I recently ported my old Baby Berks C16 game to the A8 and uploaded it on the forum. Baby Berks was originally a cut down version of Berks 1 - initially created to be typed in from a magazine listing. I've now converted the second game in the Berks Trilogy ... Major Blink. The game dates from1985 and I haven't made any major (excuse the pun) updates to the gameplay. The original program had to run in 16K and this version should happily run in 32K. I've tested it on my PAL 130XE and in NTSC & PAL in Altirra. The game makes a few simple changes to compensate for the different NTSC frame rate but I haven't been able to test this on real hardware.
The game is a simple one; roam around the screen filling in the boxes while avoiding Diamond Geezers and Cool Bears (don't ask). There are eight different screen layouts chosen at random - repeating when they've all been cleared. Larger boxes contain a random bonus based on your entry skill setting. Fill in the box to gain the bonus. The Cool Bears appear at the top of the screen and work their way down, un-filling squares as they move. Diamonds inexorably move towards you but can be 'stunned' for a short while before setting off again. It's important to note that you must complete a screen before the bonus counter reaches zero or it's Game Over!
- You can select a skill rating on the title page and this determines your entry position in a skill range of 1 to 16. The game gradually gets more difficult as you progress through the skill levels.
- The skill level increases by one for every screen completed and you gain an extra life for every four screens completed.
- High-Scores are kept for each of the five entry skill ratings - this is to counter somebody starting at the lowest skill level to gain extra lives.
- Major Blink moves along the lanes in the chosen direction but if you release the joystick it will continue moving to a crossroads before stopping. You can reverse his direction at any time while he is moving.
- Cool Bears randomly choose a lane to start from but will not regenerate while you're in the top 'green zone'.
- Pressing the Space Bar will pause or un-pause the game.
There are a few tactics that will help you complete screens successfully but I'll leave that for you to work out. Changing direction takes a bit of practice so a good joystick is advisable.
Finally, the game is very much 'old school' and may not appeal to everyone. I make no apologies for the limited and repetitive sound effects - you may need to keep the volume low before you go ga-ga like I have over the past few weeks.
PS. Please let me know if you find any serious issues.